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The Clocks Ticks on a Diné Funeral

Local artist raises funds to help family of recently deceased young man

Monty Singer’s “Tent Rocks”
Monty Singer’s “Tent Rocks”

Last Saturday, Kyle Shane Taliman was found dead in Gallup, NM. The 23-year-old Diné was found outdoors and is believed to have died of exposure. Talimam is survived by mother Lauri and his sister Cheyenne Tilman, both of Virginia. Gallup is a long way to fly from Virginia on short notice, but the news of this young man’s death traveled quickly and soon artist Monty Singer stepped up to help. Singer, an award-winning artist who has shown in Indian Market and the Heard Show and whose work can be found in museums and private collections, offered to donate one of his paintings to be raffled off to help the Talimans go to Gallup to bury their family member.

The painting up for raffle is the award-winning pastel "Tent Rocks," winner of the People's Choice award a the 2011 Pastel Society of New Mexico's National Show. A richly conceived and executed painting of the revered national park near Santa Fe, "Tent Rocks" shows astounding artistry and craftsmanship by Singer, who is as well known for his landscapes and figurative work as he is for his satirical oil paintings that once delighted audiences at Indian Market and other venues.

Raffles tickets are $10 a piece and are limited to 300, giving a buyer a 1 in 300 chance of winning the painting, which measures a staggering 40x40 inches.

"It's crucial that we get the word out about the fund-raiser," said Singer. "According to Diné tradition, the burial needs to take place by Saturday, which means we need to sell tickets as fast as we can."

More information on the raffle can be found at the Kyle Shane Taliman Memorial Fund Facebook page.

Update: As of this afternoon, Lauri and Cheyenne have received enough funds to board a plane headed for Albuquerque and will arrive late tonight. Per the most recent count, 126 raffle tickets have been sold, leaving 174 left. All future donations from this point will go toward additional expenses and some will be set aside to help take care of shipping costs of the painting.


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